This week: New leaders, same challenges


Sen. Todd Lakey and Rep. Tom Dayley, chairmen of the judiciary committees in the Senate and House, join Melissa Davlin on the December 14th episode of Idaho Reports. Photo by Troy Shreve.


Idaho’s judiciary has faced challenges for years — overburdened public defenders, lawsuits over public defense, overcrowding in prisons and county jails, the opioid crisis, and a recidivism rate that the state is struggling to reduce, to name a few.

In 2019, new leaders will face those challenges. The Idaho Legislature has two new judiciary committee chairmen: Rep. Tom Dayley in the House, and Sen. Todd Lakey in the Senate. Josh Tewalt is replacing Henry Atencio as Idaho Department of Correction director, and, of course, Governor-elect Brad Little takes office in January.

So is this a time to be innovative and assertive with new policies to reduce incarceration trends, or a time to be cautious while these new leaders figure out their roles? This week, I sat down with Lakey and Dayley, as well as Kathy Grismyer of ACLU-Idaho and Cindy Wilson of the IDOC Board of Correction to discuss those challenges.

Tune in to Idaho Reports at 8 pm Friday on Idaho Public Television, or watch online at after it airs.

Also, I’ve put together a newsletter with Idaho political and legislative news, with links to reporting from across the state. New issues come out at noon — most days, anyway. Subscribe here:



One thought on “This week: New leaders, same challenges

  1. jbuschert says:

    Well, first, this was a good discussion that I appreciated. It gives me hope for some (albeit too slow for me) progress on a number of fronts – corrections and education at the top of the list. And I just have to ask – where is that beautiful table you are sitting around. It is pretty awesome 😉

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